Whereby cholesterol presents one of the major fatty substances in human body, carboxymethyl cellulose is a water-soluble derivative of cellulose, the most abundant dietary fiber. Whereas on one hand in vivo precipitation of cholesterol is the major cause of atherosclerosis, dietary fibers are on the other hand known for their ability to clean the fatty plaque deposited on intestinal pathways, and prevent its build-up in other critical areas within the organism. In this work, a method for the preparation of a composite material comprising cholesterol and carboxymethyl cellulose from 1-hexanol/water biphase mixtures is reported. Specificity of the interaction between the composite components in the given conditions of synthesis inhibits the tendency of solid cholesterol to adopt typical plate- or needle-shaped morphologies. Instead, control of the thixotropic behavior of the constituent polymer phase leads to the formation of bubbling, multi-layered cholesteric films. In view of the major illnesses that involve biological precipitation of cholesterol crystals, these findings may be considered as pointing towards the interactional specificity of potential chemotherapeutic and/or nutritional significance. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal and diffractometric analyses were performed as parts of the characterization of the prepared material.
Uskoković V. Composites comprising cholesterol and carboxymethyl cellulose. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2008;61(2):250-261. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2007.08.014
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